The ice storm cometh

What are the things that puzzle, enrage, delight and tickle you as you go about your life in Madison?
Shorty
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The ice storm cometh

Postby Shorty » Wed Feb 19, 2014 9:11 pm

It's just a weather advisory here but parts of WI north and west of Madison will get hit hard by ice or heavy snow. After Seneca leaves, cold air will return for at least a week. This is a long Winter.

Fortunately, Walker is on top of this and has declared a State of emergency:
http://www.channel3000.com/news/storm-c ... index.html

narcoleptish
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Re: The ice storm cometh

Postby narcoleptish » Thu Feb 20, 2014 9:54 am

If virtue precede us every step will be safe.
- Seneca the Younger

Unless everything's covered in fucking ice.
- Narcoleptish

snoqueen
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Re: The ice storm cometh

Postby snoqueen » Thu Feb 20, 2014 8:01 pm

Has anybody measured the temperature of the city water coming in the supply line to your basement?

Read the alert here:
http://www.cityofmadison.com/water/

I did the temperature check the water utility recommended and found my water was coming in at 35 degrees, right on the border of their danger zone. I emailed the utility with the particulars and they wrote back recommending I run the cold water continuously at a rate of 12 oz/minute (easy to approximate) until I receive further notice. The water utility will give a rebate to those of us who are doing this -- the city will notify the utility of our addresses.

So I'm running the water in my basement sink until when? Spring?
Who else has run this test? What were your findings?

Beaver
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Re: The ice storm cometh

Postby Beaver » Thu Feb 20, 2014 9:35 pm

How can we check temperature of the city water coming in the supply line? It's sealed in a pipe, right?

"So I'm running the water in my basement sink until when? Spring?"
The city site says the frost line remains 6 feet below ground, and it will likely be several weeks before it recedes. So maybe until Spring but ask them. Next week looks very cold again.

The city site also says "several dozen homes in our service area are affected, mainly on cul-de-sacs and dead-end streets. We are directly notifying homeowners living in areas where service laterals are freezing that they should run a pencil-thin stream of water until further notice."
So I thought we didn't need to worry about this unless we lived on a cul-de-sacs or dead-end street or were notified by the city.

As I said here, my bigger worry is mud backing up and clogging my sinks from the city fixing broken pipes. It cost me $156 in Jan and I don't want it to happen again.
viewtopic.php?f=36&t=58915&start=15

snoqueen
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Re: The ice storm cometh

Postby snoqueen » Thu Feb 20, 2014 10:06 pm

How can you check the temperature of the water when it is still in the pipe??? Good lord.

If you read the alert it says to go to a cold water faucet nearest where the water comes into your house and hold a thermometer in the stream of water coming from that faucet. This is not rocket science, boy.

(Is he putting me on? Oh well.)

If your supply line freezes, don't blame me. You had your chance.

I was surprised how cold a reading I got, and the Madison water utility agreed I was at risk. I wanted other people to read the alert and check their water too, and I wondered how many other people's water was way cold.

Verona and Mazo are now under run-the-water-24/7 orders too, I believe.

Beaver
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Re: The ice storm cometh

Postby Beaver » Mon Feb 24, 2014 9:25 pm

snoqueen wrote:If you read the alert it says to go to a cold water faucet nearest where the water comes into your house and hold a thermometer in the stream of water coming from that faucet. This is not rocket science, boy.

If your supply line freezes, don't blame me. You had your chance.


No it says "If you are concerned about your service lateral freezing, you can run water from a tap inside your home for a few moments, then check its temperature by holding an ordinary meat thermometer in the stream. If the reading is less than 35 degrees, call Madison Water Utility at (608) 266-4651. "

snoqueen
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Re: The ice storm cometh

Postby snoqueen » Mon Feb 24, 2014 9:29 pm

Now Lake Mills is under an advisory for all households to keep the water running too.

How are you guys in rural areas with your own well doing?

narcoleptish
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Re: The ice storm cometh

Postby narcoleptish » Mon Feb 24, 2014 9:56 pm

Beaver wrote:it says "If you are concerned about your service lateral freezing, you can run water from a tap inside your home for a few moments, then check its temperature by holding an ordinary meat thermometer in the stream.


It says that? My meat thermometer starts at 140. I was going to check my water but I realized that I don't have any kind of thermometer in the house, except the meat one.

snoqueen
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Re: The ice storm cometh

Postby snoqueen » Mon Feb 24, 2014 11:46 pm

Yah, I know a lot of people's only thermometer is the digital one inside the thermostat.

I fortunately had an old glass air-thermometer (as opposed to meat thermometer) and it worked just fine checking the basement water.

Have you got a refrigerator thermometer or a freezer thermometer? That might work.

Weird to realize analog thermometers are legacy technology....

Madsci
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Re: The ice storm cometh

Postby Madsci » Tue Feb 25, 2014 7:13 am

snoqueen wrote:Now Lake Mills is under an advisory for all households to keep the water running too.

How are you guys in rural areas with your own well doing?


No problems so far. Our well is >200 ft deep and <50 ft from the house. We also have a pump and a pressure tank which may effect things too. I guess the excavator did a good job of burying our water lines. The line to the barn was an add-on and is about twice as far from the house. I really should check the temperature of the water when I do my chores this am. There is already a thermometer in the barn for me to use.

Thanks for the reminder.

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Re: The ice storm cometh

Postby snoqueen » Tue Feb 25, 2014 10:15 am

Codes in this area are drawn up with a four-foot frost penetration in mind. That is, footings have to be below the four-foot line, and so do water pipes. Of course they can be deeper if someone wanted to pay for more trenching. This year with the frost penetration reaching six feet, you can see the problem. With any luck your pipes were buried deeper. You can also see why keeping the water moving can help: if it comes out of the ground at a temperature well above freezing and gets to point of use fairly quickly, it won't have time to freeze inside those sub-freezing underground pipes.

We won't know how many structures (sun porches with footings, etc) get frost heaving until we've had a few more freeze-thaw cycles, because it's that freeze-thaw movement that causes the greatest structural stresses.

Madsci
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Re: The ice storm cometh

Postby Madsci » Tue Feb 25, 2014 12:08 pm

The water temperature coming out the tap in my barn this am was about 45F. The unheated beer cave (root cellar) is at 40F.
We are a south-facing ridge top farm. The snow cover may be helping also. Hope my luck holds out.

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Re: The ice storm cometh

Postby donges » Tue Feb 25, 2014 1:17 pm

I tested the other night (after reading this thread) and mine was coming in at 53 degrees F. Which seemed high to me. But there are a lot of condos by me (Tenney Part area) so maybe the density of people using water all the time is helping.

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Re: The ice storm cometh

Postby snoqueen » Tue Feb 25, 2014 5:42 pm

I think that's a big part of it. Cul de sacs are supposed to be at greater risk, probably due to how the supply pipes run. I am on a dead end street.

The water's staying around 35 -- I checked again yesterday. The basement itself is 42. I keep trying to think of a good use for all this coldness but I can't.

The variability of readings people are getting is interesting.

53 does not seem odd to me. Isn't the temp inside Cave of the Mounds something like a steady 54 or 56 year round?

narcoleptish
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Re: The ice storm cometh

Postby narcoleptish » Sat Mar 01, 2014 10:55 am

Perfect. A nice light coating of powder on top of all that bare ice out there. There's gonna be some spills. Be careful out there.

I wish it would rain salt for about five minutes.


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